Friday, January 13, 2012

A Taste of Winter

The bite of winter has returned, mainly with respect to strong winds and bitter cold wind chills, but light snow and blowing snow did coat the landscape with some snow.  Driving in conditions like this still apparently still remain a mystery to some motorist as accidents and spin-outs seemed to be around every corner.  That's another issue. 

Total snow accumulations for many areas were meek (1-2") with much of that already blown to Youngstown by today's strong winds.  (Joking of course)  However a few areas did experience a nice winter blast.  Parts of Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Erie and Huron counties were blasted with lake effect snow that blanketed the area with 2-4" or more by mid day on Friday.  Here is a radar image from 6 AM Friday morning.  Notice the lake effect snow band over lake Erie, which moved onshore in a southerly direction.  Here is the cool part about this.  A lake Huron connection was established in this very specific wind direction orientation which allowed an organized lake effect snow bank with heavier embedded snow squalls to develop off of lake Huron and intensify over lake Erie and then push onshore into areas east of Toledo.  Lake effect connections between two separate Great Lakes are generally rare and even more uncommon for them to impact our area.

The result through mid morning on Friday was an accumulation of 2-4" over Erie an Huron counties. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Where is the Snow!?

It's been a very mild start to the new year, and to no surprise there is no snow to be found across our area.  As we head into the middle of January, that's unusual.  The lack of Arctic air into the United States has been a dominant theme.  In fact, only 14% of the country has snow cover at this point in the month.  (If you follow my previous posts, this is due to a positive phase of the AO or Arctic Oscillation).  The result a mild beginning to January:

The warm weather and lack of snow has has some shelving the snow skis and reaching for the golf clubs.  Measured snow for Toledo so far this season has been 5.2" which is -7.2" below normal.  Toledo is not alone take a look at large cities across the lower Great Lakes that are suffering from huge snowfall deficits so far this season:

The average snowfall for a winter in Toledo is around 37".

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lower Heating Bills?

Reach into the mail box the next couple of weeks, grab the bill you see to heat your home and hold your breath...but you may be in line for a pleasant surprise.  Heating bills up to this point in the year are likely to be dramatically less compared to this point last year.  After a very harsh December of 2010, this past December was very mild.  Here's the difference:

The most recent average temperature of 35.1° for December of 2011  was an astounding 10.5° warmer than the previous December of 2010 which averaged 24.6°.

Official 2011 Precipitation Record

It was the wettest year on record-- officially broken in late December--and it pushed Toledo nearly 1" above the previous record set back in 1950. 

 Highlights of the past year include:

Second wettest April on Record (6.33")

Ninth wettest May on Record ( 5.88")

Third driest June on Record ( 0.51")

Wettest November on Record (7.14")


 Toledo was just one of several dozen cities across the Great Lakes an North East to set all time precipitation records in 2011.